Modern Kitchen with Light Wood Cabinets

Designer: Cat Schmidt, Model Remodel

Location: Ballard, Seattle, WA

Scope: Kitchen, Stairway

Sustainability: Low-VOC paint, 50% recycle rate, LED lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, CARB compliant local cabinetry, dimmer light switches, ENERGY STAR-rated appliances

A compartmentalized 1960s home was overdue for a update, so the MRM team got to work rethinking the flow of the kitchen and main floor. The homeowners received a modernized kitchen, additional storage and a repositioned basement stairway that is now a beautiful architectural feature. With a nod to midcentury modern design aesthetic, this kitchen with light wood cabinets and bright white finishes proves wood cabinets can be adapted to any design decade.

The primary goal of the remodel was to open the dining room to the kitchen. When prepping and cooking, the homeowners wanted to be able to socialize with the rest of family. During discussions about traffic flow, it was determined that moving the stairs to the basement was a secondary goal. This repositioning would make for easier access to the basement from anywhere on the first floor and make the living space feel bigger.

When designing the kitchen, rift white oak cabinets would be the foundation. White would keep the design fresh and light. The avocado green, a very midcentury color, would be incorporated into the new kitchen in the form of a backsplash border and modern pendant light.

It was important to showcase the beautiful trees in the backyard with large picture windows, bridging the gap between inside and out. Storage was also important, so a pantry wall was created to house the microwave and other kitchen necessities. A large super-Susan makes use of corner space, while an extra-deep pantry with reeded glass is adjacent to the dining room for overflow and bar storage.

Brass hardware and under-cabinet lighting give the space a luxurious feel. Brass Banker Wire was used at the custom walnut stairway for continuity. Now the stairway is both an architectural feature and a custom shelving unit. The kitchen remodel and other updates to this home preserved its 1960 character while breathing new life into some of the main spaces.



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